News Release

Wheelchair MOU Signings Mark PWD Awareness Month

The need to promote dignity and respect for Persons with Disabilities (PWD) was highlighted during the month of July as the nation celebrated PWD Awareness Month. 

The theme, “Breaking Barriers, Opening Doors,” paved the way for Memorandum of Understanding signings between LDS Charities (LDSC), the social arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, with various organizations for the implementation of the wheelchair training and distribution program.

LDSC’s new wheelchair partners include the Office of the Governor of Bataan, Office of the Mayor of Dagupan, Go Forward Binan Foundation, Inc. and the University of Northern Philippines-Vigan, Ilocos Sur. 


Benson Misalucha, LDS Charities Country Director (2nd left), and Gilbert R. Arce (3rd left) University of Northern Philippines President sign the MOU

Wheelchair training and distribution is one of the global initiatives of LDSC.  It has been engaged in wheelchair distribution for the past 10 years.

In recent years, extensive training on how to help assessors measure, modify and customize wheelchairs to properly fit the beneficiaries has been the focus.  The whole idea of giving a wheelchair to someone who needs it is to help them and to “Do No Harm.”  Proper fitting of the patient is critical. 

The program has made it possible for Basic and Intermediate wheelchair training to be integrated into the curriculum of the College of Rehabilitation Sciences of De La Salle University-Dasmarinas.

An Intermediate training addresses the complex needs of people suffering from cerebral palsy and other forms of physical disabilities who would need supportive chairs with braces and harnesses to keep them upright, safe and secure.  An advanced training course would usually include training the trainers and address more complex wheelchair needs.


LDS Charities and Go ForWARD Binan Foundation, Inc.

A trainee who aspires to be certified as a wheelchair technician and assessor is taught to assess a patient’s balance, interview to find patient’s needs, assess for sensitivity and pressure sores, and measure so the patient is properly fitted to the chair. Three measurements are needed.  These include seat width, seat depth, and foot rest height.

Technicians are also taught about the parts and proper maintenance of a wheelchair and the proper use.  Recipients of wheelchairs are also taught these important points so that a wheelchair can last at least five years and be a benefit to the patient for as long as possible.

A mother whose son was a recipient of an intermediate wheelchair said, “We can be a family now.  We used to leave our child at home because it was difficult and physically exhausting carrying him with us during family outings and activities but now with the intermediate wheelchair, we can do things together as a family.  We can stroll at the mall together, eat at a restaurant together and go to church together.” 

The goal of the Wheelchair Initiative is to “increase self-reliance and confidence of the recipient.” Of the world’s population, 10% have disabilities, 1% of those needing wheelchairs.  In the Philippines around 900,000 people are in need of wheelchairs.  Ongoing partners include Tahanang Walang Hagdanan, various Rotary Clubs, the Philippine Navy and Army, and different LGUs.  


LDS Charities representatives with Governor Albert Garcia of Bataan (2nd from right) and a member of the Provincial Council on Disability Affairs


Dagupan Mayor Belen Fernandez (in green) and members of her council


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